8 Tips on How to Improve Your Efficiency

We all have our dreams, some of us have even ideas or even better, plans on how to achieve them. And for some people, it simply seems like the most basic and easy thing to do. Sometimes though, after we are done with the mundane responsibilities of everyday life, we don’t have enough energy or time left to dedicate it to activities which bring us personally joy, satisfaction and a feeling of self-realization.

Thanks to the long-term home-office I can so far enjoy, I had the opportunity to experiment a little bit and find out how to deal with the never ending and nerve wrecking exhaustion which I had to fight with during the everyday time race of pre-corona days. And I learned many useful things which I’d like to share with you right now!

First of all, I have to admit that under different circumstances, I would probably not try out several of those tips. I would lack time and energy for that and that means my will to try and stay with it would not be strong enough. Although working remotely from home can have it’s drawbacks (for others, I still haven’t found any), you definitely save unimaginable amount of time, which you can later invest into a proper rest in the first place and self-improving in the second. So I have to actually thank for this list of activities, which help me to get things done through out the day, to the extra time saved from commuting to Prague every single day.

I guess everyone of us is trying to find ways how to not feel so tired all the time, how to handle more and more throughout the day, and simply put, how to become those superwomen and supermen the modern society wants us to be. And so we try this here and that over there. What I realized in the last couple of days is that in order to succeed, it is essential to follow all those habits at once. Like, at the same time. All together.

Some of them might seem overwhelming at the beginning, as you’ll see, but you can jump onto those step by step. I know that everyone is different and things can work differently for each of us, but even if this list would help only to one person, I have to share it with you.

So, are you ready? 

1. Tall glass of water in the morning and water intake

It’s gonna be the first thing in the morning you’ll do. Maybe even before you manage to open your eyes properly. Our bodies are truly dehydrated after the whole night and a glass of fresh water in the morning will help you to start your blood circulation and get up from the bed easily.

Prepare a bottle or a glass of water to your bed area, right before you put yourself to sleep The closer, the better. This way, you can ensure to drink it indeed immediately, not with the “right after I got to the kitchen”, “right after I finish my coffee”, “right after I brush my teeth” nor even “right after I catch the bus” thoughts in your mind.

No, drink it as soon as you wake up. Every morning. And watch the miracles happened.

And of course, with starting the day as brightly as this, don’t forget to hydrate properly throughout the day as well!

2. Try to say NO to caffeine

I know, I know. Coffee means so much to all of us. It is a morning ritual, a means to wake up, a social contract, a reason to stretch out the legs on our way to the corporate kitchen and even a moment of tranquility when we can stop worrying. And the taste, the smell of it! I know. I like coffee, too.

But despite all of that, I have to say I stopped drinking coffee with a big excitement a I am never planing to go back to its seductive taste and smell. Never. Why? Sometimes, it’s just nice to realize than even though something is super nice and awesome on the surface, inside it can do more harm than good. And that was exactly my case with the coffee.

After I stopped drinking it two months ago, it was impossible to not notice the difference in how I feel in my body and I realized just how many problems I was dealing with was intensified or even directly caused by excessive intake of caffeine.

All of that despite the fact I would call myself a responsible drinker of coffee. I rarely drank more than two cups per a day and always tried to drink my later coffee in the early afternoon hours in order to prevent it to mess with my sleep regime. Nevertheless, all of my insomnia and impossibility to fall asleep was probably linked just to drinking coffee. And that was not all.

Same as any other person alive, even I had my ups and downs throughout my life and from many of those experiences I sustained scars and bruises which make me anxious and cause panic attacks even to this day. But after I stopped drinking coffee, I battle them noticeably less. Everyone who has ever suffered from those knows that this is priceless!

And the last but not least, after you will overcome your first week or two (depends on how big addict to caffeine you are), you will feel by far much more rested, energized and ready to deal with everything the day will bring to your plate.

This might seem like the hardest step from the whole list but I swear to you – it is really worth it!

3. Intermittent fasting

This is one of the latecomers I started with only a few days back but I can already feel the difference. Intermittent fasting means that you yourself will set up a time “window” during which you can eat whenever you want and for the rest of the day, you fast. The recommended times for the beginners and women are 10 hours of eating and 14 hours of fasting, however it is possible to get tough and eat in ratio 8 : 16. I know even those who eat only once per a day!

Since I am not as tough with myself as I would like to be, I chose the path of the least resistance and follow the regime 10 : 14. Because I’m rather night owl than a sparrow and still like to go to bed in late hours, I start with a breakfast at 10 AM and I have to manage to eat my dinner before 8 PM. I am used to having breakfast everyday right after I wake up, so waiting for the first meal is probably the least pleasant part. However, it is not as hard as anticipated. Considering I still work from home, it could be more difficult under the different circumstances.

And what are the results? I don’t crave junk food that much. It also eliminates night looting of pantry and generally, one eats less because there is just not enough of time to eat everything. I have more energy throughout the day and usually, I don’t get exhausted that easily. That means I can start writing even after work, which would have never been an option before.

4. Few minutes of dancing to feel woken up

As I already mentioned, I am a night owl. Waking up and getting out of the bed is probably the most painful thing in the whole day. No wonder that sometimes it is not without the effort to actually be in a good mood after such a torture. I personally feel like a purple minion from the Despicable Me 2 movie. Or at least I used, before I employed all of these tips.

So, how to deal with it? It’s super easy to read how important morning exercising is. What is not that easy though is a question: how to actually exercise, right? If you make yourself a breakfast in the morning, doing your make up, cleaning or doing whatever, you can play your favorite music and dance a little bit into its rhythm. Few minutes of dancing next to a kitchen units and the world is noticeably more colorful!

5. Waking up regularly at the same hour

This one is a habit still in progress. Yet I already know that in those days I manage to wake up between 7 to 8 AM, I manage to do more during the day and I am simply more satisfied with myself then on other days.

Many of the famous people did follow this rule as well: they used to wake up not only regularly but early as well. You simply get the feeling you made the best out of your day. It feels nice to tick off several of your tasks right before breakfast.

6. Meditation

I write about meditation a lot. People who have never tried it can’t probably understand it but those who has their experience with mindfulness and meditation, they know what I’m talking about.

It is one of the simplest method how to quickly (it can take you from only a few minutes of mindful breathing to several tens of minutes, depending on a program) and effectively (you feel the difference right away and it lasts) reduce stress and regain power to come back to solving the problems you need to solve. Or back to the dreams you wish to follow.

At the same time, meditation has never been as accessible as it is now. No matter if you go for a mindfulness app (I can recommend Calm, even just its free version can make miracles) or one of the countless guided meditations on YouTube, you are on the right path.

7. Eat healthier and mindfully. The same goes for alcohol

We know this already, you might say. Of course. But I am not a fan of tough diets and restrictions, I believe in the golden rule of moderation. One simply needs to listen and follow the needs and requirements of his or her own body.

It doesn’t matter if I talk about the almost comatose tiredness after I polish off the whole vegan burger with fries or about that night full of ciders and youthful neon colors of a city night life. It is good to take a lesson from how you feel after those adventures. It is pointless to forbid something to ourselves. It is just nice to sometimes decide to skip some of these foodies in order not to feel tired, wearily or useless afterwards.

8. No Facebook or news before you fall asleep (cause you won’t)

Many of the tips pointed out earlier will help you to find a better way to sleep. Same as this one. Maybe you don’t even follow any social media and you don’t really care about what is happening in the world. Good, you are the lucky one. But for me as a chronic insomniac was this an extremely dangerous habit.

Many of you surely know this story too: you can’t fall asleep, minutes are slowly running away and your eyes keep opening. So you tell yourself: “Sure. I can take a look on what is new on Facebook (Instagram, BBC News, anywhere). It can do no harm.” In the best case scenario, you’ll end up giving warm hearts on Instagram for hours, in the worst case scenario you will get upset or scared from reading the world news and commentary section right bellow them. As a result, you waste hours of your life usable for sleep (or something overall more constructive). And instead of putting you to sleep, this activity will only make you feel even more awake. You put your phone aside and start from the beginning.

If you have hard time falling asleep, there is several techniques you can try (right after you say NO to caffeine and sweets before bedtime). You can listen to an audio book or a story from your phone, Spotify, YouTube or the already mentioned Calm with its sleep time stories should do the trick. Another option is to play relaxing music or the ambient sounds of nature – as kids, we used to listen to the sounds of storm or the running river on a CD. Now I find sounds of the sea waves wearing down the shores the most relaxing. Meditation and deep breathing work awesome as well.

But my most favorite thing to do right before I fall asleep is imagination, making up my own stories. You can go anywhere, do whatever you want and meet whoever you desire. And while doing that, comfortably drift away.

What helps you the best with your efficiency? 🙂 Comment, like, share and see you soon again!

Positive Diary #19 – Rain

31st May – I know, it might seem pretty basic. Rain, water, breeze, we tend to take all of these things as granted, although our ability to take advantage of them can change pretty rapidly. I can see it in the long-term change of weather, or maybe let’s say climate itself, in Czech Republic. I vividly remember every spring because I love them so hard. You can see all of the changes, you can feel them, touch them and mourn for them. But not this year. This year we are lucky and that is what I got to say today.

Springs in my country used to be fabulous. Blue sunny skies were often replaced by mild rainy days; the trees, grass and flowers were racing to sprout, all spaces were buzzing with life and there was enough of water in the exact perfect amount that you didn’t even have to think about it. It was a paradise, marking the soon-the-summer-comes time and eyes and hearts of patient spectators were drowning in unwitting amazement. Those times, those colors, sounds and smells, all of that taught me how to love nature. They made me who I am.

However, in recent years, those lovely spring days disappeared. And not just them. Snowy days of winter and the joy from seeing sun rays dancing on a fresh layer of frozen white water was replaced by dirty, dry and lightless short days; and warm summer days changed into almost never-ending waves of heat, leaving you wonder where have we all made the mistake and pray for this desert to go away as fast as it came. And between those two wrecked seasons – nothing. The sweet springtime suddenly became compressed into two-day season and that was it. From long, brown and grey winter quick jump into the never-ending heat of summer, thank you very much.

This year is different. And it fills me with joy, happiness and even hope that not everything has been lost. This May was far from all of those previous years. It is raining every other day, but mildly, lovingly and with kindness, don’t mistaken it with the already well-known relentless flooding cloudbursts. Herbs on the garden thrives again, birds sing, all is green and fresh, buzzing. Everything seems to be back in normal.

We still fight the exceptional drought in Czech Republic, but seeing the wonderful power of nature, still loving and kind, despite those terrible acts we commit to her on everyday basis, fills me with surge of gratitude

I hope that more and more people will realize how profoundly beautiful and important nature is; that more and more people start to believe in her and that more and more people start to do what they can in order to protect her

The thing with nature is simple – she doesn’t need us. But we certainly need her.

Let’s be grateful for all of her gifts. And let’s start to give something back.

Have a lovely Sunday!

Wicked and Clever

Šárka

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The Positive Diary #18 – All the useful stuff

16th April – For the most of us, the current pandemic means restraints of freedom. We can’t go out whenever and wherever we want, some of us has lost their jobs, others lost a connection to their coworkers in offices as they are forced to work from home office. We cannot go to trips we planned, to concerts we paid for. We don’t even dare to dream about the future because we don’t exactly know, how it will look like. The traps of our mind, fears and regrets, might feel eternal, real and hopeless. I know it is hard, especially for some of us.

But hey, we are living in a time of great freedom and endless possibilities thanks to new gadgets and, especially, the Internet. Just look around… Do you feel lonely? You can connect to Discord or Skype and spend hours on the call with your friends and family. Is it still not enough? You can play together, wander through the Elwynn Forest or under the open skies of Middle-earth, or if you know more games than me, you can wander everywhere. And be safe.

Would you like to see a movie? And Netflix is not enough anymore? Well, there is HBO, Prime and many other different platforms. You just have to choose and enjoy it. Is it not the same without the popcorn and trashy people in a cinema? You can always make an online order and your precious popcorn will arrive. And if you really need someone to talk during a movie you want to see, you can go back to the first paragraph and try to call some of your friends.

Do you feel melancholically? Why won’t you listen to some of your favorite music? It is not the same as when you are on the go and you listen to it while being active every day, but it can definitely bring you those memories back. And the feelings you have when you listen to your favorite music, these won’t go away. Also, while listening to it at home and in no rush, you might notice, discover new aspects of these songs. All of the options of how we can listen to and approach to music have their own benefits.

Or maybe, you feel down and overwhelmed. The world seems to be falling apart, and you have no control over it. Luckily, there is plenty of useful mindfulness apps and even free YouTube meditation lessons online. You can just comfortably sit or lay on the mat and let these short voice recordings to calm you down. Maybe, you are too skeptical about trying it, but trust me, you have nothing to lose but so much to gain. If you can spare just ten minutes to give it a try, you will see for yourself.

Okay, maybe enough of fun. The TV shows are all the same, nothing can surprise you anymore and you feel empty and bored. Maybe it is a sign that you’ve had enough of fun and you are ready to work on your skills. I bet there is something, anything, you were hoping to learn for a long time now, but you never had the energy nor the time to give it a proper try. Well, guess what – this is the time we were all waiting for! If you belong to the lucky ones, who can work from home, keep their salaries, but still have an excessive amount of free time left, you can purchase some of the online lessons. I shared a subscription of MasterClass with my brother, but you can find whichever class or platform you like and get dedicated to fulfilling your dreams. There is many free “how to” and “DIY” videos on YouTube, you can try Patreon, Skillshare, whatever suits you better. Just go and give it a try.

Maybe the lessons are too much for you. Maybe all you wanted was time to practice your craft. Practice your writing, cooking, drawing, sewing, whichever skill you have and want to evolve. Because you have time to do it now.

The whole day sitting can also numb your senses, your will to enjoy the life. Luckily, you can always go to YouTube, Patreon or use any sport dedicated web or app to add a little more movement to your life. Yoga, pilates, dancing classes, shredding classes, whatever you prefer, it is there, just within a reach of you hand.

If you are tired of all those online activities, you can always grab a book you wanted to read for so long but never managed to merge entirely into it. Now you have the time. Jump into the story and let it to take you away. That is one of books’ magic purposes. They can also slow your overthinking patterns and calm you down, easily and naturally rock you to sleep.

 

I know times are hard and becoming even harder the longer they continue. I myself am having anxiety attacks when looking into future or just when I follow the news. It is overwhelming, even for a person who can easily work from home. But, as in other tough times and situations, I need to see the positive sides of this situation too. And when I look around, I see a lot. Despite the situation, internally, I have never been happier.

 

So now, just fix the outside world and we are done, right? Right.

 

Have a lovely day.

 

Yours,

 

Wicked and Clever

 

Šárka

 

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The Positive Diary #17 – Spring, here and now

12th April – I know. This year started with many obstacles. For many people around the world, this has been a nightmare. And still is. Whether you lost someone to the virus, or you are struggling with money during the time when everything is closed in order to slow down the pace of virus’s spreading, I feel for you and I am truly sorry you have to go through this.

For me, personally, my biggest fear coming from the current pandemic situationis a worry about losing freedom, losing basic human rights, and relying on politicians who can easily bring us back to the dark ages.And for a long time… But I don’t want to talk about it now. Maybe, I will get back to it soon. This space is dedicated to enjoying bits of happiness, focusing on the things we need to be grateful for, even in the darker times. For me, this situation, when we are all being forced to stay at home, has brought many benefitsas well.

And today, I want to talk about the most basic one. It is one of the things which our profit-centered, capitalistic society is stealing away from usand also, one of the things we can fully appreciate now, when we are not allowed to chase after money and business-importance every day. There is quite few of those stolen aspects of life and I hope I will get back to all of them soon. Today, I want to talk about spring.

How many times in the last couple of years you felt the desperate need for summer, for spring, for sun rays, at the end of a long winter? It is always there. We are forced to sit in the office, the blinds on the windows are closed because we wouldn’t see on the monitors otherwise, and the day light is so rare. We are thirsty for vitamin D; we are thirsty for light; we are thirsty for fresh air. Right? But then, when the spring finally sprouts, we are still forced to live our fast, meaningless lives and before we know it, the spring is gone.

I don’t know about you, but for me, spring is undoubtedly the most favorite season of a year. Those smells, those colors, those sounds! I think I can be forever in love with spring. Everything is fresh and new and you yourself can clean up some things inside you that have been bothering you for some time. Especially for those, who are not entirely disconnected from nature herself, it is a time of new beginnings, new adventures, new reconnections, because this is how it goes naturally, outside of our human world as well.

If I say our civilization deprived us of spring, I’m not exaggerating that much. But now, the situation is different. Even the privileges of our civilization had to step aside and the concern over public health took over. And since we now prioritize our collective health, why won’t we include this? Spring. Going outside, even with the mask on, for a walk between the fields, to the forest, sitting on a garden, balcony or even just next to an opened window; and seeing all the leaves sprouting out, hearing all those bees and bumblebees, being able to smell the blossoming cherry trees – that is something almost invaluable in terms of our usual way of thinking. For me, it even makes up for the canceled vacation we were supposed to take off to in one week.

I am not saying the world situation is easy right now, I know it is not. But I am grateful for the lemonade I can make from those lemons life is throwing at us. Focusing on the better side of things will help us to make it through the tough times, let’s not forget that. That is why I am hoping to restore my positive diary writings and to add even more value to my blogs.

After all, it is spring. The time of new beginnings and new reconnections.

So, if you can, enjoy this time and make the most out of it!

 

Yours,

Wicked and clever

Šárka

 

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Held captive.

She inhaled, deeply. Once again. The pain laying on her shoulders loosened. With the light-bearer by her side, every thought was lighter, every feeling more bearable, every nightmare survivable. Still, there were moments, glimpses of her past, memories, which held her captive inside the labyrinth of her deepest fears.

It seems like we are always drawn back, we are always held captive by our past mistakes. By our foregone attempts to live, genuinely, she thought herself.

On some days, fights were easy to win. But on other days, she was so annoyed by the amount of damage that was still present in her life that the fights were burning up her whole energy.

But it’s always a victory. Unless you stop fighting, she nodded and gave a shining smile to the light-bearer, who sat quietly next to her and carefully observed every single thought mirrored on her face.